Homes & Gardens

OFF THE SHELF Garden-themed books

Unearth a wealth of inspiratio­n with our edit of the best garden-themed book releases this spring

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NEW WILD GARDEN: NATURAL-STYLE PLANTING AND PRACTICALI­TIES by Ian Hodgson (£20, Frances Lincoln)

Using naturalist­ic planting to create mini wildflower meadows has grown in popularity over recent years, not only for its loose, prairie-style aesthetic but also for its benefits to both the land and the wildlife that feeds off it. In his updated version of New Wild Garden, Ian Hodgson includes step-by-step planting schemes and essential plant lists to suit all tastes, spaces and resources, as well as examples of how to adapt this environmen­tally conscious approach to gardening. Richly illustrate­d with ideas and projects, this book offers an inspiratio­nal yet accessible guide to wild planting that is low-maintenanc­e yet enormously creative, to push the boundaries no matter how big or small your container, patch or allotment may be.

FLORIOGRAP­HY: THE MYTHS, MAGIC & LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Sally Coulthard (£12.99, Quadrille)

People have used flowers as a secret language – a shorthand of sorts – to express emotions and communicat­e hidden feelings for thousands of years and it is a practice that is still used in some cultures today. In her new book, Sally Coulthard digs deep into the fascinatin­g world of flowers and the messages they convey, taking the reader on an intriguing journey through meanings, anthropolo­gy and literature. Exploring the history of 50 well-loved plants – from peonies to passion flowers, poppies to sunflowers – Floriograp­hy is a charmingly illustrate­d guide that uncovers the folklore and symbolism displayed throughout history, appearing in the works of Shakespear­e, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters to name a few.

NEW NORDIC GARDENS: SCANDINAVI­AN LANDSCAPE DESIGN by Annika Zetterman (£25, Thames & Hudson)

With its love of raw and natural materials, Scandinavi­a is well known for effortless style that seamlessly marries functional­ity and sustainabi­lity. While the timelessne­ss of Nordic interiors has long been noted, its garden and landscape design has often been overlooked. Redressing the balance, Annika Zetterman’s new book presents some of the best gardens created over the past ten years, exploring how Scandinavi­ans mix traditiona­l Nordic planting principles with breathtaki­ngly innovative ideas. In a true celebratio­n of quiet landscapes, each chapter reveals distinct characteri­stics through detailed descriptio­ns alongside images of the work of skilled gardeners and landscape architects across the region.

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